The Mission of the Chaparral 264 Sunesta WT
Chaparral designed the 264 Sunesta WT to be a "full-service" bowrider that can handle a large number of people and at the same time be nimble enough for a variety of watersports activities. Because of her high freeboard she can be used in big water and stay dry. Because of her extensive option list she can easily be morphed into an entertainment platform, a cruising boat, or even a babe magnet.
Chaparral laminated in a layer of Kevlar in the keel area to better protect the bottom from puncture than would conventional fiberglass. Kevlar also makes the laminate slightly lighter.
Chaparral has installed in the 264 what it calls the "Self Bailing System" (SBS) in its fiberglass cockpit liner. This means that you can leave the boat on a mooring or at the dock without a cover and rain water will drain directly overboard and not into the bilge. Many boats in class do not have this feature and it is an important one.
Large cockpit sole locker.
The hatch to the locker and the space itself is large enough to accommodate both skis and kneeboards.
Wide Tech bow.
"Wide Tech" is the name Chaparral uses to describe how it has carried the boat's beam forward on deck in order to create more room forward. This results in more knee room in the footwell, more room in the bow itself and greater storage capacity in the compartments below the seats. It is recognizable from a distance because of its pickle-fork shape of the deck. The important aspect of Chaparral’s patented “Wide Tech” design is that the bow’s width is blended into the hullsides and is not carried down to the boat’s forefoot. This means that the 264 has a sharp deep-V entry.
Dual deck fuel fill caps.
The 264's fuel tank can be filled from either side of the boat. This means you won't have to worry about the mess and dirt of a large fuel hose being draped across your upholstery.
Large integral swim platform.
While many boats have integral swim platforms not all of them extend past the outdrive when they are both in the up and down position. Further, the 264's swim platform is large enough to make it easy to put on water skis and wakeboards.
Options to modify functionality.
Chaparral's standard 264 Sunesta WT comes standard with everything you need for a fun day on the water right out of the box. However, if you would like to use the boat primarily for entertaining, sun bathing, or wakeboarding there are option packages and individual options which will allow you to morph the boat into something exactly to suit your needs.
The 264 comes standard with a Volvo Penta V8-300C 300-hp engine with a DuoProp lower unit. It has a catalytic converter as required in the U.S. Standard boats sold outside the U.S. come without the catalytic converter, unless it is desired. All told, for both domestic and world-wide sales Chaparral offers seven engine options from both Volvo Penta and MerCruiser. The largest engine available is the Volvo Penta V8-380C 380-hp model with DuoProp.
There is nothing more important on a large bowrider on a hot day than plenty of cold refreshments. Chaparral knows that and has placed three separate coolers in the boat in order to be handy to guests no matter where they may be. In the bow there is an insulated integral ice chest with drain. At the opposite end of the boat there is an insulated compartment in the swim platform. Amidships there is provision for a standard 54-quart carry-on cooler.
The helm and companion seats are both bucket seats with flip-up bolsters. Premium bucket seats that put the adjustment levers in the armrests are optional ($669).Abaft the helm is a standard bench seat facing a large L-shaped seat on the port side and going across most of the stern. Forward there are two forward-facing seats with fold-away armrests and enough leg room for nearly any guest except possibly an NBA center. Interior color packages are available as standard in Black, Blue, Fire Red, Graphite and Sand.
The 264 Sunesta WT is "Yacht Certified" when it comes to passenger seating capacity which means the boat will legally hold as many as you can seat and have PFDs for. Since there are a couple of different configurations, practical capacity will depend on whether or not you have a wet bar and filler cushion forward.
The 264 comes standard with a table that fits in a bracket located in the cockpit to make use of the L-seating. There is another bracket in the front of the bow footwell so there can be dining there as well. There is a dedicated stowage place for the table.
The head compartment is lockable which means you can stow items there when you are away. The head has a sink and a cabinet, lighting, a full fiberglass liner, a standard Porta-Potti and an opening portlight. The toilet can be upgraded to a VHT Vacuflush system ($1,503) and the same system with an added macerator is $2,294 in total. If you want to get classy, put in a teak and holly sole for $232.
As boats become larger and more complex the system that is the most vulnerable to gremlins is the electrical system. As a result Chaparral has instituted a number of measures to protect the electrical system from failure. For example, all electrical connectors are triple O-ring sealed and water tight. The wiring is "loom wrapped" to protect against chafing, the engine and dash have grounding bars, and the DC breakers are water resistant.In addition, there are courtesy lights, a dash dimmer switch, lighting in the console storage compartment and DC power plugs. We would go for the dual battery option with cross-over switch ($431).
Price of the Chaparral 264 Sunesta WT
The MSRP of the standard 264 WT in the U.S. with the Volvo Penta 300-hp V8-300C engine is $87,632. Outside the U.S. the base price is about $3,024 less without the catalyzed engine, but there are other costs involved such as freight. The MSRP price for the boat with the largest engine available, the Volvo Penta V8-380C 380-hp model, is $99,632.We have looked over the options and with the V8-300C engine it seems easy to have lots of optional add-ons and still keep the price of the boat around $100k.
We have not tested the 264 Sunesta so can make no comments on its performance or handling characteristics. Nevertheless, it is clear that this bowrider is designed for big water and big groups of people aboard. And that is what a watersports boat of this type is for -- fun with family and friends.What we like most about the boat other than the roominess which is everywhere, is the fact that she can be made into several different kinds of bowrider, depending on the optional equipment added. Just look -- *If you want a watersports platform, get the arch tower. *If you want a floating beach for sun bathing and swimming, then get the bow filler cushion and the Power Slide aft seat. *If you want a cruising bowrider, go for the cruising canvas with the standard Bimini top. *If you want the classiest 26-footer on the lake, then go for the stainless steel windshield, colored hull, upgraded stereo system, and the big engine. You will be well over 100k with that approach, but you will have a hard boat to beat.
Standard and Optional Features
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